This is a full copy, hosted on Youtube, of the movie ‘The Yes Men Fix The World’. It’s a great film, which I hadn’t seen before but heard many great things about. Now I understand the hype. Basically, The Yes Men are a pair of friends who pull off some amazing pranks in order to try and make people realize the damage big businesses and “the free market” have wrought. The whole thing is super interesting and quite funny, despite dealing with many tender topics, including Hurricane Katrina and the Bhopal gas tragedy.
One of the things that struck me in this film was the fact that many of their biggest pranks were able to happen because they made good use of the internet. I’ve been thinking about the movie and how it relates to my class, Approaches to Media Studies. It’s really cool to think that they had the ability to fool people just by making a website. I think it really enhances the ‘value’ aspect of the Digital Projects we work on. A lot of value came from the Yes Men setting up their fake DOW website, seeing as they managed to appear at a conference and get a BBC World interview. I think of this tactic as a form of culture jamming. I think all of their work was a form of culture jamming, actually. The fake New York Times, for example. It took a popular form of culture and remade it in a thought provoking image. I think that this is proof in the power of these tactics. This is, too, the magic of the internet, and other forms of social media! This is why shows like The Colbert Report are so popular. Because taking the image of something that is wrong in society and perverting it to show the truth, or an ideal situation, is a very effective method of activism.
This movie really got me thinking about my own Digital Projects, and I think I will create a series of culture jamming images/websites and post them online. I’m excited to follow in the Yes Men’s footsteps a little bit. It may not have such an important impact, but it’ll get me thinking.
Anyway, this is a great film and if you haven’t seen it, check it out now. You can also torrent it, because they expressly request P2P sharing due to a lawsuit from The US Chamber of Commerce. Run, don’t walk. Watch the film.